Contact: Crossing Rivers Communications
Prairie du Chien, WI – Behavioral health services, offered locally at Crossing Rivers Health, have grown significantly over the last two years. A need for those services in this area, a growing public understanding of the importance of mental health, and a broader community approach to mental health are all contributing factors.
“Mental health is the same as any aspect of health,” says Lacie Anthony, Program Manager for the Center for Behavioral Health at Crossing Rivers Health. “We really can’t have one without the other,” Anthony continues, “If we’re not doing well physically, that is going to affect our mental health. If we’re not doing well from a mental health standpoint, we know through tons of research, that affects our physical health as well.”
In the last 18 months, Crossing Rivers Health has added a Licensed Clinical Therapist, full-time Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, child/adolescent psychiatrist, and two behavioral health RNs. Matt Cram is a Behavioral Health Counselor and part of the growing Behavioral Health team. Cram, who sees patients of all ages, says, “I think it’s a big benefit to individuals in our community to have these services available locally.” He continues, “It’s important to have someone to talk to and be a guide, if needed.”
Along with the growth in behavioral health services at Crossing Rivers Health, area organizations are also reorganizing the Crawford County Mental Health Coalition. The goal, according to Anthony, is to collaborate to build healthier communities that support the mental, emotional, and social wellbeing of those living in our community. The coalition includes Crossing Rivers Health, Crawford County Health and Human Services, Crawford County Public Health, local law enforcement, UW Extension, Gundersen Health System, Tri-State Ambulance EMT Services, and Prairie du Chien School District.
A better understanding of the impact and importance of mental health has also contributed to the desire for these services. “It's an okay thing to reach out and ask for help. Everyone struggles,” says Anthony, “At some point in your life, you're going to go through some major change or some major loss. It's okay to say I'm not sure how to cope with this, or how to handle this situation.” She concludes, “Behavioral health is teaching people how to cope.”